Woodbury boards approve a municipal building for town and village offices

| 26 May 2016 | 01:37

By Daniel Stimpfle
— Plans to create a new municipal building received unanimous approval last Monday night from Woodbury’s Town and Village boards as a solution to numerous problems facing several municipal buildings.
The proposed structure, or community center, is intended to replace several existing municipal structures in Woodbury, including the Woodbury Police Headquarters, Town Hall and the Senior Center. All are overcrowded, falling apart or in need of substantial upgrades to comply with state law.
The proposed two-story, 35,000-square foot structure will be located on unoccupied land adjacent to the Highland Mills firehouse.
It will also include front and rear parking and access points to allow for ease of access to the various departments within the building.

The final cost for the center is expected to be $9 million. To cover the cost, organizers are currently discussing a multi-faceted approach to financing the construction.
At the meeting, Town Supervisor David Sutz said that bonds will initially be used to finance the project while other options for paying the costs of construction are currently under consideration.
Organizers are looking into using a combination of grants, funds from departments such as the Police Department and tax money received from on-going construction projects in the area.
'An embarrassment'
The idea for creating a new municipal center began with the more immediate demand for creating a new the town hall. The currently building, which houses the town offices, court room, parks office and meeting area, has been called an “embarrassment to the community” due to its antiquated state and small size.
The court in particular has presented a safety concern for many because its small space.
When speaking about the dangers posed by such cramped conditions, Sutz said that “convicts in handcuffs and shackles have to walk through the public” during court.
In addition, access to the court is hindered by a steep stairway which is often inaccessible to seniors.
Others at the meeting have pointed out that the second floor of Town Hall is getting closer to becoming structurally unsound.
“These poles (support beams in place in the current town hall’s meeting area) are here because the court is crashing down on us,” said Town and Village Clerk Desiree Potvin. “You can see the sag in the ceiling when we replace these tiles (ceiling tiles).”
First floor
The first floor will provide a new senior center and a new Police Headquarters. This is meant to be a solution for the current headquarters which requires $2 million in renovations to comply with current state standards.
The new police headquarters will also introduce many new safety features; these include a sally port for moving prisoners in safety and a secure elevator to transport prisoners to the courthouse above.
Sharing the first floor of the community center will be a new senior center that would include a large meeting room with a maximum capacity of 250 people, a media room, art room, game room, shared conference room, administration room and a kitchenette.
Second floor
The second floor of the new municipal center would include offices for the town, village and courts. All three will have a large meeting room which can be separated into smaller rooms with an adjustable partition to provide private space for multiple events.
Find out more
Additional information about the project will be available during an informational session scheduled for Thursday, June 30.
There is no official date set for construction to begin but Woodbury officials said they are hopeful that shovels will hit the dirt within a year.